After my proposal to Brian about my Old Town idea, the general feedback was very positive, the name was unique and they were surprised it wasn't a thing already. The mood boards of each genre were vital as it demonstrated i knew each genres culture off the back of my hand. Which I do as i am firmly centred into youth culture which really helped me nail this. The next stage for me was to actually go ahead and start developing this via sketches. I did not jump straight onto my laptop to start designing this environment. I used the old fashion way which works for me which is pencil to paper.
I took inspiration originally from the settings within Havana old town such as the front entrance to the police station, which looked seemingly like a fortress. I thought this would be an eye catching first view of the arena if people were to walk past it at festivals, a way to entice them in. Another element I wanted to develop was the central bar. This element was vital as it would be where all of the different ravers would come to the center of old town to almost be fueled by bacardi. I didn't want just your average bar, I wanted a circular central aguardiente bar. This involved a few sketches of a rustic themed bar containing stained wood etc. Really trying to tap into every little detail.
Lastly before diving into my 3d visualisation in Cinema 4d, I developed the personas behind each genre by putting together a table and jotting down the stigmas revolving each genres fashion, dancing moves, etc. I passed this around peers in my class who are also deep in the underground music world such as Luke, Jamie Head, Nick Bereern and Oliver Kemp. These all gave me added insight into what surrounds each genre.
I begun by firstly trying to figure out how to add into cinema 4d 5 silo shaped objects to sort out the formation. As you can see above this was a very simple version 1. It was purely to kick start the ball and see how it would play out. Soon after I decided to cut out one genre as liquid and drum and bass were overlapping and there was only a real need for one drum and bass genre.
This soon turned into version 2 which involved building the base of the structure. Seeing the silos and the shapes, the logistics of these silos i felt would turn this activation into a very unsocial bale one, as each genres silo would just become a home and now encourage genres to mix by having the stages open to encourage mixability. Something Bacardi pride themselves over massively. So i turned v2 into a different design consisting of a four cornered arena almost, with the central bar still existing. I introduced the appearance factor using the dark brown wood textures to add that barrel feel to it. This new design was very different to how my sketches looked but it was a development I thought would be beneficial to the experience as a whole and bacardis mission overall. It was almost like a mini sound clash but with a havana pirate ship feel to it, a truly unique experience.
Adding in the extra details consisted of the palm trees, boombox speakers and finally the central boom bar. This was a rounded bar where ravers would come to the middle and top up on their drinks to keep them going. The flag element was a massive part of the identity of Old Town. I got inspired by Les Miserables the theatre show and their use of flags to display the power of revolution. Something this Old Town Movement was trying to accomplish by eliminating the toxic stigmas amongst dance music and bringing everyone together as one to enjoy music.
Now constructing the environment in cinema 4d was one thing that i was excited about but at the same time skeptical about as I had never truly ever delved into the software to create a fully rendered bit of work, especially for a competition on the scale of D&AD. But i bit the bullet and told myself in order for the judges to see this live in the flesh and feel the vibe i would need to drill out a 3d version. Which meant a lot of long nights rendering, a lot of stopping and starting of tutorials and simply learning the software by myself. Something which I am extremely proud of myself for doing to be honest. It's not the most user friendly software but I stuck at it, had a vision in my head and completed it. Below is a link to some of the tutorials I used to help me put together the arena such as the Flag element. This was interesting as I made the flag but also added in forces and the wind element.
Also in terms of structure I watched a few tutorials on how to create archways and also how to grow ivy in an environment.
As for the concept video, the lineups of the djs playing inside Old Town I thought of presenting nicely in a line of four waving flags in the wind. I did this using illustrator to design the lineup flags, i then took these artboards and applied them in Cinema 4d as a material.
Above you can see various shots of the production side of things in cinema 4d, how intricate and fiddly it was. It was a long shot take the leap and using a fairly foreign software to normal but it proved to work perfectly and i gained a lot of new skills from doing everything in cinema 4d. I now feel confident in the software and am happy to create things in the future to separate my work from standard sketches.